"There is a crucial line to draw between acceptance, forgiveness, and self-improvement vs. tolerating verbal and psychological abuse, and staying in a situation that is harmful...."

In examining all aspects of emotional abuse and looking at how to form healthy relationships, this book covers a wide range of topics, such as defining what constitutes emotional abuse, various types of abuse, trust issues, compassion, empathy, healthy vs. unhealthy relationship interactions, and denial. Family of origin issues are examined as well. Also included are the various paths to empowerment, such as focusing on positive support, becoming knowledgeable about the situation, healthy anger, detachment, and setting healthy boundaries. Haffey’s book is organized in an easy-to-read format. Each chapter is summarized, activities are given regarding questions one can answer about oneself and one’s situation, and a question is asked and then answered about whether this topic is supposed to be hard. An added plus is that the included material is also professionally referenced.

This excellent and informative book is written by a professional in the field of counseling who demonstrates significant knowledge about emotional abuse and all of its permutations. With a focus on questions posed for the reader, it offers a self-assessment regarding one’s own journey through relationship conflicts and whether what one is experiencing is normal conflict or abuse. By giving specific examples from twenty-eight individuals who tell their personal stories of abuse and their recovery from it, the text becomes more personal and relatable to the reader. Also, the manner in which the book is organized offers a valuable way to help in one’s learning style. It is a must-read for those who wonder about or realize that they are in an abusive relationship. It also will be a valuable book for therapists.

A 2023 Eric Hoffer Book Award Category Finalist

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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